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We find ourselves in the new, globalised marketplace. The marketing strategies have changed in just a couple of decades. The most notable cause of this shift is the advent of the Internet.
The Internet made us all closer together. It also made our competitors closer than ever. It has never been easier for us to reach our audience. On the other side, it has never been more difficult to stand out in the sea of competition.
The internet has merged all the world’s individual markets into a singular, globalised one. This is where SEO was born. All businesses have a singular goal when it comes to SEO, and that is getting more leads. When trying to increase business revenue, it is critical to establish a sound local SEO strategy. These rankings can mean the difference between sinking and staying afloat in the proverbial sea of competition. Let’s cover just that.
First of all, what is local SEO? It is a digital marketing strategy that will help customers find your brick-and-mortar locations. At first, this may seem like a strategy for small businesses only. But event multinational businesses utilise it to increase their foot traffic. Anyone that specifically searches for a product or a service in their local area will receive valid results.
This means there will be many of those results. That is why a good local SEO campaign is pretty much necessary. Some of the components of a successful SEO campaign include local content, links, citations and online reviews. Traditional SEO benefits the most from expertise, authority, and trust in your brand. On the other hand, local SEO likes proximity, relevance, and prominence. To understand the difference is to excel at both of these two strategies.
This is another of Google’s services that help us drive customers to a local business. As most of us know, Google holds the biggest search engine market share. In 2020, about 85% of all desktop and 95% of all mobile searches are done using Google services. This means anyone that is serious needs to have a GMB listing. Anyone that does not have one is literally losing money each day.
Google My Business enables us to instantly view our visibility for the current locality. It saves us the responsibility of ranking our own domain. Rather, our online presence receives instant search visibility from local searches. One of their latest updates made proximity one of the primary ranking factors. Your company will appear on the first page based on the distance between you and a potential customer. This factor is second only to reviews and on-page optimisations.
Now that you have your Google My Business page set up, you can proceed further. It is important to know where your sources come from. If you understand your audience, you can make an efficient effort to increase it. Google My Business can tell us if the traffic comes from direct, discovery, or branded users. Let us clarify that. Direct traffic is when users directly type in your brand’s name. They are specifically looking for you. It is the rarest and therefore, most valuable type of traffic.
Traffic by discovery is when users search for services and products that are related to your brand. Basically, they indirectly stumbled upon your website. Lastly, there is the branded traffic. This is when users search for other brands and are receive a recommendation from you. Google Analytics shows a different story. This service shows all of this data as organic. But you need more.
Optimising your GMB profile is very similar to the process you use for website optimisation. You need to provide as much information as possible. Your viewers need a reason to visit your website and the search engines pick up on that. The more detail you can provide in your profile, the better. That detail gives more ammunition for the search engines to reference your business with.
Fill out all the options that are available to you. It will maximise your opportunities to appear in the Local Pack. Begin with the NAP (Name, address, and phone number) details. Make sure that the spelling is correct. Lastly, make sure that the information is actually correct and relevant. Search engines verify your business details using third party citations.
Keywords are the currency of SEO. It is the strongest ranking factor in all SEO marketing campaigns, local or otherwise. Google’s guidelines dictate that the only thing in your title should be your business’ name. On the other hand, incorporating a keyword in your business name is highly effective. Especially if you are just starting up.
Read my blog post snippet about creating unique and relevant metadata for all pages.
GMB allows you to pick one category to show on your profile search result. But you can also add ten other ones as hidden categories. These will increase your page’s visibility ranking on discover searches. Also, keyword variability is very important to increasing the chances of website traffic. Find the best ones to use on the local pack’s hidden category page.
These categories will not directly be seen by the potential customer. But it will steer traffic towards your website, behind the curtains. How would you go about finding these? Search for different keywords variations. These need to list several brand names and consistently show them on your search results. Choose one of those brands, and look them up on Google Maps.
View your page source (right-click in your browser) and search for their primary categories. Close by, you will find their hidden ones, as well.
Make content that is relevant to the locale you want to advertise in. This kind of content will help you rank higher in local search results. Make city, state and regional-specific landing pages. Locals and residents-only discount offers are also a viable strategy in some industries and niches. Partner with, or even host local events. Go a step further and promote those online. Lastly, include local keywords in your blog content.
There are many other methods to employ. These will most likely depend on your region, industry, and niche. Do not neglect the power of multimedia. Make content with images and audio. Do not make the mistake of employing only bland text. Lastly, do not neglect the importance of video in SEO endeavours. Remember, if there is something that you are not doing, there is always someone else that is.
Reviews are one of the most important factors of a good SEO campaign. Needless to say, reviews are one of the top local pack ranking factors. Incentivise your satisfied customers to leave a Google review. There is very little room for manipulating SEO algorithms. But organic reviews trump all other methods.
It is because individual reviews are like their own independent confirmations that what you have posted is actually true. It gives your brand social proof.
If done right, reviews can influence the three major components of conversion. These are ranking, clickthrough, and conversion rate optimization. Gather as many positive reviews as possible and enjoy the compound effects over time.
To a degree, your reviews can be managed. It is one of the top priorities for any local business as it improves search visibility and maintains a good reputation. You will need to identify the most important review sites in your industry.
The truth is, there is a major review site for every industry and niche, no matter how small or large. Find out which sites are most visited your particular ones.
Not sure how to find those? Make different search combinations of your keywords, city and adjectives like ‘the best’. For instance; ‘best car dealership in Sydney’.
Viewers are looking for options. Most importantly, they are looking for the best options for them.
Also, make sure to respond to as many reviews as possible. This also goes for the negative ones. Show that you are aware of your customers' needs and wants.
Yoru local SEO strategy is well worth the investment in time and effort. Small businesses cannot afford to miss out on their opportunities. Some businesses might not even have any strategies to go wider than that.
These should especially focus on optimising their local SEO campaigns as much as possible. For other businesses, it may take a solid local foothold in order to one day achieve more than that. Either way, competition is fierce on all fronts. This means you will need to specialise in your area of expertise. Use your location and leverage it for more local opportunities.
Local SEO Tips Article by Nick Brown: DCP Web Designers London
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